Coconut Layer Cake
Rating: 4 Cupcakes:
I was skeptical of this cake. I am not a huge coconut cake fan. Don't get me wrong. I like coconut and I like cake but not usually combined. However, the homemade coconut pudding in the middle gave it the wabang that sucked me in. Even the 7 minute frosting that has been dreadful on the other cakes worked great for this one.
3/4 C (1 1/2 sticks) Unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
2 C sifted Cake flour, not self-rising, plus more for pans
1/2 tsp Baking powder
1/2 tsp Baking soda
1/4 tsp Salt
1 C Superfine sugar
4 large Egg yolks, lightly beaten
2/3 Cup Sour cream
1 tsp pure Vanilla extract
Coconut Cream Filling (see below)
11 oz (about 3 3/4 cups) sweetened angel-flake Coconut
Seven-Minute Frosting (see below)
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Arrange two racks in the center of the oven. Line the bottom of three 6-by-2-inch buttered round cake pans with parchment paper. (I used two 9x3 pans. The layers are thin but it still worked.) Dust the bottom and the sides of the cake pans with flour, and tap out any excess. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and set the bowl aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter on medium-low speed until fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Gradually add sugar, and keep beating until the mixture is fluffy and light in color, about 3 minutes. Gradually drizzle in egg yolks, beating on medium-low speed between each addition until the batter is no longer slick. Beat until the mixture is fluffy again, about another 3 minutes.
Alternate adding flour mixture and sour cream to the batter, a little of each at a time, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Beat in vanilla. Divide the batter between the prepared cake pans. Bake until a cake tester inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean, 30 to 40 minutes, rotating the pans in the oven, if needed, for even browning. Transfer cake pans to wire racks to cool, about 15 minutes. Remove cakes from pans, and let cool completely on racks, tops up.
To assemble, remove parchment paper from the bottoms of cakes. Split each layer in half horizontally with a serrated knife. (If using the larger pans, don't bother splitting because the layers are already thin).
Coconut Cream Filling
6 large Egg yolks
3/4 C Sugar
6 Tbs Cornstarch
1/8 tsp Salt
3 C Milk
4 oz (1 1/2 cups) sweetened angel-flake Coconut
1 1/2 tsp pure Vanilla extract
Unsalted butter, for wrap
Place egg yolks in a large bowl; whisk to combine; set bowl aside.
Combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a saucepan. Gradually whisk in milk. Cook, stirring, over medium heat until mixture thickens and comes to a boil, 10 to 12 minutes (Mine happened quickly, appx 5 minutes). Remove from heat.
Whisk 1/2 cup hot milk mixture into the reserved egg yolks to temper. Slowly pour warm yolks into the saucepan, stirring constantly (this is done so the egg yolks don't boil and harden...icky). Cook slowly, stirring, over medium-low heat, until mixture begins to bubble, 5 to 6 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in coconut and vanilla.
Transfer filling to a medium mixing bowl. Lightly butter a piece of plastic wrap, and lay it directly on top of filling to prevent a skin from forming. Chill until firm, at least 1 hour.
Set aside the prettiest dome; it will be used for the final layer. Place another domed layer, dome side down, on the serving platter. Sprinkle 2 to 3 tablespoons of flaked coconut over the cake. Spread a generous 1/2 cup coconut-cream filling over coconut flakes. Repeat sprinkling and spreading process on the remaining layers until all but the reserved domed layer are used. Top cake with the reserved domed layer (When using the larger pans thus thinner layers use your own judgement on how much pudding. I just put it on until I thought it looked like enough. I had about 1/2 cup of pudding left over). Transfer cake to the refrigerator to firm for 1 hour. Remove from the refrigerator, and frost the outside of cake with seven-minute frosting. Sprinkle remaining coconut flakes all over cake while frosting is soft; do not refrigerate. Cake can be left out at room temperature for several days.
7 Minute Frosting
3/4 C plus 2 Tbs Sugar
1 Tbs light Corn syrup
3 large Egg whites, room temperature
In a small, heavy saucepan, combine 3/4 cup sugar, corn syrup, and 2 tablespoons water. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar has dissolved. Rub a bit between your fingers to make sure there is no graininess. Raise heat to bring to a boil. Do not stir anymore. Boil, washing down sides of pan with a pastry brush dipped in cold water from time to time to prevent the sugar from crystallizing, until a candy thermometer registers 230 degrees about 5 minutes. (Depending on the humidity, this can take anywhere from 4 to 10 minutes.)
Meanwhile, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form, about 2 1/2 minutes. Gradually add remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Remove the syrup from the heat when the temperature reaches 230 degrees (it will keep rising as pan is removed from heat). With the mixer running, pour the syrup in a steady stream down the side of the bowl (to avoid splattering) containing the egg-white mixture. Don't pour the syrup in and then turn the mixer on. The syrup will pool and harden at the bottom of the bowl.
Beat frosting on medium speed until cool, 5 to 10 minutes. The frosting should be thick and shiny. Use immediately.
This cake was really great. The cake was moist, the pudding provided a nice sweet texture and the icing was light and fluffy. The cake still obsorbs the icing in a day or two but the 7 minute icing is really yummy with the coconut. We served this cake to guests and they all enjoyed it. I will definetely make this again.